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Archive for March, 2003

|| March 27, 2003 || 5:47 am || Comments (3) ||

Hi, I’m Jett. I have a crockpot and a magnolia swag and I read Vanity Fair. I have hair that is bouncy and shiny, especially when gathered into ponytail. I was a cheerleader.

I also own every Black Flag album and have a mean right hook. I’ve learned to take a beating and never squeeze one tear. I can swear at you proficiently in four different languages, limpingly in a fifth. I am prone to maniacal laughter.

Die-versity is the key, my friends.

|| March 25, 2003 || 4:16 pm || Comments (8) ||

My sister Emma, all of sixteen and gorgeous inside and out, has paid two-thousand dollars to accompany a group from her school that is touring Italy, France and England in the summer.

I have been prepping her for some eight weeks now:
“Please, please, when you are in a new situation, quietly observe what the locals do, then follow their lead. Unless it’s something that you find horribly morally objectionable, like licking goat’s balls that are still attached to the goat or something.”

“In France and Italy, gesture away, but sit on your hands around the Brits. Over-animation quite frightens them.”

“Take time to learn the currency exchange rates before you go there, Emma. Trust me.”

“When buying things for their local flair to give unwitting souvenir-receivers back home, check them for stamps/markings that say things like ‘Made in Taiwan’ on them.”

“I understand the lure of losing your virginity in some vineyard overseas somewhere with some cat smoothly crooning one of the romance languages in your ear, but there’s still a lot of living for you to do. Recall that I will be here waiting when you get back, and I’ll KNOW.”

“If you get guff for being an American anywhere, at any time, learn the respectful way to say, ‘I’m a high school kid, for Chrissakes, trying to learn a little something about the world and its various cultures.’ and/or ‘Look, I may or may not agree with Dubya, but he’s got a really difficult job. I don’t care to step in and do it, do you?’ “

It was that last scenario that I was most concerned about.

Alas, my fears were in vain, because the organizers called this past week to say that the trip was off, and four-hundred of the hard-earned dollars invested were as good as down the shitter.

|| March 23, 2003 || 11:57 pm || Comments (1) ||

Huzzah! For the first time in the history of this website, we are showing a sliver of readership from Japan!

Must be looking for pr0n.

They’re in the right place if they get off on loudmouthed, crude Eurotrashy American girls.

And I prolly shouldn’t have written any of that, huh? Blame it on Mick and the boys. And the wine, always the wine.

Childhood living is easy to do / The things you wanted I bought them for you / Graceless lady you know who I am / You know I can’t let you slide through my hands / Wild horses, couldn’t drag me away / Wild wild horses couldn’t drag me away

I watched you suffer a dull aching pain / Now you decided to show me the same / No sweeping exits or off stage lines / Could make me feel bitter or treat you unkind / Wild horses, couldn’t drag me away / Wild wild horses couldn’t drag me away

I know I’ve dreamed you a sin and a lie / I have my freedom but I don’t have much time / Faith has been broken tears must be cried / Let’s do some living after we die / Wild horses, couldn’t drag me away / Wild wild horses we’ll ride them someday / Wild horses, couldn’t drag me away / Wild wild horses we’ll ride them someday

// Rolling Stones, “Wild Horses”

|| March 23, 2003 || 10:53 pm || Comments (7) ||

Hey there, you dirtybirds. I see you over there, waiting to peek into my brain. Tonight you just may get the juicy stuff.

I got the house allll to mysellllllf. How fitting, such a blessing, it being Sunday and all. Just me and the Rolling Stones, Forty-Lickin’ the evening away. What started out as plans to go for the night jog evolved into what promises to be a raging drunk. HooWEE! Nothing like nine-dollar wine from a thirty-dollar glass. I was feeling a bit dehydrated today, why not soak the sponge in a tasty Roh-Zay?

A couple weeks ago, when I was washing dishes, I started staring out the window and semi-conciously circling the rim of one of my favorite crystal goblets with the middle fingertip of my left hand, hypnotizing myself with the resonance of the sound that emerged. The hum of good crystal is enchanting. The boys happened through and Sam was mesmerized by what I was doing. I pulled out one of the cheap wine glasses, showing him that there was no sound trapped in there.

“There is no potential for music in cheap things, Sam. They just exist; they just are.” I showed him how to elicit a hum from the ‘good’ goblet himself, and he learned quickly.

Life Lessons in the House Of Jett. Don’t that make you want to be a part of the madness yourself?

Heath came by tonight, looking for Maxim. The lights in here were all off and I had six candles of varying sizes scattered about the desktop. I was fighting with words, trying to push and pull them into place, into some sort of cohesive magic for the world at large, but mostly for myself. The porch light was on and the front door was wide open, inviting the mild air into my home, into me. Heath mounted the porch steps, placing his full lips against the doorpane, eyes wide. I smiled.

“Whatchoo doin’, boy?”

He kept the door between him and me for a good five minutes, talking-talking-talking in his lazy, sleepy drawl until I finally asked him if he was gonna come in or not. Why would he act like a stranger? My youngest child was conceived in his bed; I know some of his deepest-darkests.

Sometimes I am mildly uncomfortable around Heath, although I love him. I love this manboy in a strange manner….it is a love based on sympathy, empathy, hope and Maxim’s boyhood friendship with him. The discomfort comes from feeling as if he is always two clicks away from asking me if I will lie down right there on the carpet , knees to sky, and open myself to him.

He leaned there on the doorjamb, pointedly not looking at me, looking out at the deep night sky instead. He began to speak, about addiction and dissatisfaction and disappointment with self. About loneliness, even though he didn’t quite call it that, and about feeling helplessly behind.

I listened, because I know all about these things, because I have felt them all at one time or another, sometimes all at once. I interjected, because I know all about these things, because I have felt them all at one time or another, sometimes all at once. My insides cringed, even as my responses and questions for him were delivered smoothly.

You know, sometimes I wish I could reach out to every fellow junkie in the world, but some of them hit too close to home. They remind you too very much of yourself. Fuck, it’s like talking to yourself across time and that’s not as cool a thing as you’ve been led to believe. It’s like grabbing the demon by the hand and pumping away madly: “HeyshuuureyeahIrememberyou,” while plastic-faced and screaming on the inside.

Such is Heath to me. Even worse, I think he knows this.

Perhaps you recall me mentioning Heath here previously, my quiet prayer for him, my blunt rebuke of him. (side note: If you’ve not yet experienced Matthew Ryan, then you cheat yourself. That motherfucker wrecks me. WRECKS me. How many times I gotta tell you people?? /side note)

One thing I did not add to the story is how I told Maxim about that little exchange, with him saying, “Welp, I imagine we’ll never see Heath again,” and how Heath showed up on our doorstep a scant four days later.

That motherfucker was ready to do battle under the guise of visiting Maxim, and his battle consisted of the thing I despise the most: A passive-aggressive joust and parry. He’d maintain the facade of pleasant and pure as we all sat there at the dining room table, but the minute that Maxim would leave the room for whatever reason (he was busy with something at the time and I can’t remember what it was) Heath would throw out a quiet barb:

“I don’t know what to think about that, because I’m a junkie.”
“Not that my opinion counts, because I’m a junkie.”

Whenever Maxim would come back into the room it was all sunshine and roses. I sat there, not being a pacifist, but biding my time and biting my lip. Something, for a rare once, was holding me back.

Our house is interconnected in a loose circle and, unbeknownst to Heath, he was finally caught delivering one of his barbs while Maxim approached him silently from behind. My patience had paid off and I said, firmly and voice held hard in check, “Look, Heath, if you want an adult discussion of this, I’m up for that. If you want to go rounds in the yard, I’m up for that, too. Your call.”

“I am discussing it like an adult,” he spat.

“No you’re not,” I solidly replied, “You’re throwing jabs while Maxim’s not in the room.”

“Well, maybe I need help!” He was reproachful.

“I am helping you, Heath. I’ve been in your shoes. If someone hadn’t said to me the same thing that I said to you, maybe I still would be.”

He left not long after, and we were awkward with one another every time he came by after that. Out of respect for our children, he has never showed up all fucked up; I gave him credit for that. It made his visits few and far between. Nonetheless, we were stilted with one another, Heath and I. He acknowlegded my presence with a forced courtesy and I all but ignored his presence in my house.

This went on for some time, until one day I received a call from him, asking for Maxim. Maxim wasn’t here at the time and I told Heath as much, preparing to extract myself from the call and hang up.

“Hey Beth,” he called across the wire, “I’ve been in treatment.

“I want to say that I’m sorry. I’m sorry for the way I spoke to you that day. I admire you a lot, you’re a strong woman. I guess you scare me, because I’ve never really known any strong women, only controlling females, manipulators. I was out of line.”

I choked back a sob on that first line, “…I’m in treatment.” I was overcome.

“God, Heath, you don’t know the times that Maxim and I have prayed for you, how we’ve held our breath for one of two phone calls: this one, or one saying that you’d been found dead on a roadside somewhere.

“You can’t know how glad I am that it’s this one, Heath.”

And there was other stuff, stuff of the hey-it’s-hard-and-the-body-never-forgets-but-the-crave-gets-less-frequent-with-time variety, too personal and too raw for me to even write down. I’m not there yet, I suppose. I don’t know if I ever will be; it just seems too far away for comfort, you know?

And we ended that call on a good note, with “Uncle Heath” being a more regular face in this household, culminating with him leaning against the doorframe tonight.

“I’m twenty-eight years old and I want drugs. I want them because I don’t want to feel this way, this frustrated and sad.

“You got a beer?”

|| March 21, 2003 || 11:18 pm || Comments (3) ||

Ohhhhhh, how I love the InterWeb:

&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp~ Rossi gettin’ kinda seckshool with high-carb foodstuffs
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp~ April Love: There was an incident.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp~ @feckless: Got me kinda breathless, awaiting the next words.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp~ Anti-Bloggies! ANTI-BLOGGIES! You bitches better do right by me this year. Winners, after all, will be announced on my birthday.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp~ I got chosen as a Philosopher’s Pick (lil’ ole ME??) over at Blog Philosopher(such a cool, COOL idea…), which entitles me to use this little button (soon to be seated in a sidebar on this page somewheres), and not you:

I am surrounded by such lovely company as Jodi, whom we all know and love, and Drew, who resides not far from where I was born in Arkansas and whose blog just blew me away upon finding it.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp~ TACKY PACKtm, y’all!! Did you think I had abandoned the mayhem? NAY. Nay, I tell you! Because it is spring, when young men’s hearts turn to getting laid, send me your funniest, most original pickup lines and you’ll be entered into the drawing.

There has been this cheesecake ice cream in the freezer all week and it’s the Devil, I’m sure of it, so I’ve stayed away. Tonight, however, I’m putting on my firewalking shoes and we’s a-gonna tapdance, that ole Devil and I.

|| March 21, 2003 || 10:41 pm || Comments (4) ||

Sometimes I think, with regard to certain folks, that the baby got thrown out at birth and they just wrapped the placenta up in a diaper and raised it.

In other, more important matters, sometimes you just gotta lie down on the ice and wait. Heart, not head. Heart.

|| March 20, 2003 || 5:25 pm || Comments (6) ||

I can’t help it…every time I see this artwork, it evokes a very visceral reaction from the hyperpatriotic side of me. I’ve printed it and re-printed it, stared at it, stared at it some more, considered it as my next tattoo. Not once, not twice, but over and over again.

Eliza Gauger, the young woman who crafted the piece, said in a Wired article some 18 months ago that she “…was illustrating my own mother’s willingness to do anything, even something she hated — my mother is terribly afraid of guns — to protect her children.

“I think America feels the same way about its citizens.”

Last night I sent an e-mail to someone very dear to me that happens to be a military recruiter:

So, it appears that we’re in it. This makes me nuts. When I was younger, I thought of situations like this as all glory and valor and oh-my-Lord-I’m-so-proud. Now I see people
that I am not so far removed from in age, but have a little bit of a leg up on in the wisdom and ‘life-lived’ department , being sent off to
God-knows-what. Does it bother you to put out the dotted line for them to sign on? What will you feel if/when one of your recruits comes home in a body bag? It would eat me up, I imagine.

My daughter marched in on the tail-end of a conversation about it all this evening, boldly stating, “Well, we’ve got stronger people and better equipment and we’re gonna KICK BUTT.” Holy mother of God. A long conversation ensued between the three of us — me, Sam, Scout. I pulled out pictures of friends as well as those in our family that are already over there and those that soon may go. I told them all about each person whose face they did not recognize, gave them descriptions of jobs and personalities and who they were to me as people. Re-iterated that the people over there in uniform are daddies of children their age. Are sisters and brothers to those their age. Are sons and daughters just like them. I think they understood; I think they realized the scope of things because their mother is not typically prone to tears and I kept having to suck on
my bottom lip so that it would not quiver.

Most of my life I have suffered from horrific nightmares, the kind of dreams that I’m sure would garner me a lovely wraparound jacket with all sorts of shiny buckles if anyone really knew the breadth and the scope of
them. I’d sit straight up in bed screaming hysterically, I would cry for hours on end, never waking through it all. They started when I was nine and seemed to get increasingly worse when I turned 17 or so (about the time you knew me). I used to follow the news; when I lived in Alaska I got two papers and watched three newscasts a day. One day, for no discernable reason, I stopped doing this. The nightmares got significantly better and were extremely haphazard, fairly infrequent, after that. I’ve not really watched or read the news since, leaving me a bit ignorant but less psychologically affected.

All in all (and quite selfishly, I might add), I am glad as fuck that you took that desk. I’m relieved that you’ll be there during this time, because I don’t think that I could bear to know you were in the midst of everything going on. I’d be sick with it. And I would watch the news for each and every development, even if it meant I screamed and sobbed in my sleep for the rest of my born days.

I want it to be over. I want the people I love who were some of the first in to be home safe. I want everybody’s people home safe.

But most especially mine.